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Re: Christopher Young: Dream Lover (The Christopher Young Odyssey Part Four)
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• Posted by: AhN   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, at 11:48 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Christopher Young: Dream Lover (The Christophe... (Robert Taylor)

> Rapid Fire
> Score: ***

> Jennifer 8
> Score: ***1/2

> The Dark Half
> Score: ****

> Dream Lover

> What the fuck is this movie?

> “Dream Lover” is ostensibly a neo-noir erotic thriller where James Spader
> is seduced by Madchen Amick, who then tears his life apart. But Young’s
> music is insane, to the point where I assumed the film must be a
> comedy. I looked up the final scene on YouTube, where Spader savagely
> strangles Amick to death, and it’s definitely not a comedy.

> So why does it sound like one?

> The opening titular track is not as light as the rest of the score,
> carrying over the cooing choir from “The Dark Half” and placing it in a
> more electronic thriller atmosphere.

> But directly after that, the score seems to completely fall off a cliff
> tonally. The next cue is a comedic waltz, one which serves more as the
> main thematic material for the music than anything in the title track. And
> while it’s okay for a track or two, Young revisits it so often that it
> becomes old fast.

> Then the original song comes on, which I genuinely thought was an old
> vaudeville number placed on album until I realized they were name checking
> the film’s characters and storyline. How this musical number (I assume it
> must be in the film) fits in with the aforementioned ending is baffling to
> me.

> The music style continues to zig and zag from there, even managing to
> utilize Musique Concrete to make a sorta horror cue (though the waltz
> circus music is there too) with “Flying.” And then the final cue “Sweet
> Dreams” calls back all the way to that first cue… as if none of the middle
> section existed.

> I honestly don’t know what to make of “Dream Lover.” Each section of music
> is well executed, but Good God is it bananas weird. I suspect you will be
> driven as crazy as I was while listening.

> Score: **

This sounds like exactly the kind of thing you really don't like but I would eat up.

> Murder in the First

> “Murder in the First” has nothing to do with that Taye Diggs television
> series, but is based on a 1995 legal drama about abuse and mistreatment of
> inmates at Alcatraz Prison that was both a moderate critical and
> commercial hit. Still, it seems to be only remembered today for Young’s
> outstanding music… which is so good that I would rank it only behind his
> two “Hellraiser” scores so far in this Odyssey.

> The word for this score is “Strings!” Young uses them exquisitely
> throughout to maximum effect, rarely even bothering to use other
> instruments in any way other than in support of those incredible,
> incredible strings. It casts its spell over the listener right from the
> start, and (almost) never lets go for the entire 45-minute runtime. Even
> in its quieter moments, it keeps you enthralled.

> And that main theme! Good lord, man! The fact that Young can pen these
> incredible themes, one right after the other, is astonishing. He also uses
> his choir brilliantly with the strings, never moreso than in “Adoramus
> Dei” and “Redemption,” the latter of which is one of my favorite cues from
> Young ever.

> My one issue is with the two cues “Movietone News” and “Suitcase Sally,”
> which are well-composed but tonally way off from the rest of the score,
> all perky, delicate and light. I recommend moving them to the end of the
> album so that they don’t interrupt the flow – they are too good to delete,
> but don’t work where they are placed.

> Still, this is a masterpiece-level score. It’s essential listening for
> score fans, and is so good it makes me want to watch the movie just to see
> how it’s used within it.

> Score: *****

While this is exactly the kind of score we both love. Been too long since I've heard it, will have to check it out again.

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